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Tea ceremony

About tea ceremony

SadouTea ceremony is called "Sadou" in Japanese, and it means "the way of tea".
In a simple term, it is a ceremony that the host makes a tea and entertains his guests with ritual.

Of course, when we do an entertaining for our guests at home, we serve tea to them. But commomly it is not a way of tea ceremony but a casual way.
Additionally, most Japanese people don't know the formal way of tea ceremony, and if we want to join a tea ceremony, we must learn the rule of it.
So basically, the people who have learned or are learning are invited to the tea ceremonies held in various location.

History of tea ceremony

Tea was introduced from China around the 9th century.
But it finally started to become popular in the 12th to 14th century.
At this time, feudal lords often held the big tea parties, but in contrast a few priests preached the way of ceremony for communication of mind between a host and the guests to them.
And in the 16th century Sen no Rikyu completed the style of tea ceremony.

After that, his pupils passed down the know-how for genetation, so currently there are many schools across the country.

Elements of tea ceremony

A normal course of tea ceremony

Usually a tea ceremony starts around noon, and it takes 3 to 5 hours.
And not more than 5 guests are invited.

  1. First invited guests visit a waiting room (Yoritsuki). They are served a cup of hot water.
  2. Guests move to a garden and wait for the host on a bench.
  3. The host leads the guests to a tea room.
  4. The host lights chrcoal to boil the water, and burns insence at the same time. Guests enjoy looking the vessels of insence.
  5. The host serves a lunch called "Kaiseki".
  6. The first half of ceremony has finished. Guests have a break at the garden. The host prepares for the next ceremony in the tea room.
  7. The guests enter the room again. The host appears with wearing formal black kimono for making tea.
  8. The host serves a sweet confectionery to each guest before the tea drinking.
  9. The host makes a cup of tea for each guest. A guest drinks the tea slowly, and returns the cup to the host. The host uses the same cup for the other guests. This is the center of this ceremony, and the guests must perform with propriety.
  10. After all guests drink the tea, they enjoy looking the cup and tools for making tea.
  11. All of the ceremony has finished. The host sends the guests off.

Above procedure is formal and is the full course.
Generally, the part from step 7 to 11 is tea ceremony.

Tea room

A tea room for tea ceremony is usually a cottage in Japanese garden, and sometimes we can find it in any big hotels or public halls. General private houses hasn't such a tea room.
Tea room has only one Japanese small room, and the entrance is very small.
The room has tatami covered floor and a tokonoma. And there is a small fire pit for boiling water on the floor.

How to make tea for ceremony

The tea of ceremony is made from powdered green tea called "maccha".
The host puts a small spoon of maccha into a ceramic cup like bowl, pours hot water into it, and whisks it with a small bamboo whisk.
The tea is bright green and very creamy.

The schools of tea ceremony

There are many schools of tea ceremony.
The big 3 schools are Omote-Senke, Ura-Senke and Mushanokoji-Senke.



NodateNodate is outdoor tea ceremony.
In spring or autumn, it is held as the casual tea ceremony in the garden.
Of course, it is held when it is on a fine day.

Red carpet is put down, and the tea ceremony is held.
Basically, the content is only having tea and confectionery.
And the guests enjoy the tea and thebeautiful nature in the garden.

Nodate is sometimes held in the temple, shrine and park with Japanese garden.

In most cases, we can join the ceremony for a fee.

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